Saturday, December 08, 2012


There are still a couple real photography stores left in Albuquerque that have film, as well as collections of old cameras and accessories.  I went to the Camera and Darkroom store at Menual and Washington recently looking for a 27mm lens cap for my Mercury II.

I found a cap that is a perfect fit for the Tricor lens.  I was also pleased to have the box the cap came in which has some nice graphics on it.  The depiction of the lens and cap clearly date the item to the film era.  There is also an inscription on one of the box ends saying "Made in West Germany" showing that the cap was produced when The Wall was still standing.

Another recent acquisition that came along with an old camera was a pocket-sized seventy page manual for the Nos. 1 and 1A Pocket Kodaks.  It is always a plus to have such a manual as not all features of the old machines are intuitive in their use.  The illustrations, typography and graphic style also provide revealing glimpses into the times in which the cameras were originally produced and used.

Although I always enjoy seeing  the ephemera that trails along with the old cameras, I never know quite what to do with the stuff.  I'm reluctant to just throw it out, so I squirrel it away in a box and it is just dumb luck if I am able to find it again sometime in the future.

For those ephemera that seem to have some special informational value I try to scan them so that I at least have an accessible trail to follow, and I share some of that in my vintage cameras web site.  In the case of the recently-acquired manual, I copied several pages which had a particularly good description of the Kodak Autographic System and put them in the ephemera section of my site.

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